Szatmár

Satu Mare (or Szatmár, in Hungarian language) is the North-Westernmost city of Romania. I recently visited it for the first time, since it is far away from my area. The main impression is the one of a small mixed Romanian-Hungarian community in the middle of a plain and divided by the Somes River, a border community with massive influences from the neighboring Hungary and Ukraine. Surprisingly, the city has an airport linked to Bucharest and London. Romanians are about 60% in the city, followed by a strong 37% Hungarians (practically the population is bilingual) and some weak influences of Gypsies, Ukrainians, Germans and Jews.

The streets are remarkably similar to the ones in the southern towns and even the capital-city of Bucharest. The styles are however closer to the ones in Cluj or any other Transylvania city.

Here is the Ascension Catholic Cathedral, one of the main sights in the city.

The North Theater. Bilingual as most of the the buildings and streets in the town.

The Saints Michael and Gabriel Greek-Catholic Cathedral.

The Old Hospital.

The Dacia Hotel seen from the Central Park. The hotel is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world (but unfortunately it was under reconstruction during my visit). It’s a Secession style building that is also host for the local “Dinu Lipatti” Philharmonic.

The Chains Reformed Church in the Peace Square is another important sight in the city.

The Chains Church can also be seen in the distance in this view of a typical street in the city.

The Administrative Palace is the most important (and highest) sight in the city. It is home for both the Prefecture & County Council and the Town Hall.

It was built during the communist regime and it is rather repulsive, a reminder of those times… The reason for this is because it’s built in the brutalist style, being representative for this architectural style. This building is the highest in Transylvania and the 4th tallest building in Romania.

More examples of brutalist style around…

The Administrative Palace is right next to the dam that protects the city from floodings caused by the (greater) Somes River.

Omar Khayyām

XIVth Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyām
English & Romanian

Heaven’s wheel gained nothing from my coming,
Nor did my going augment its dignity;
Nor did my ears hear from anyone
Why I had come and why I went.

Ivirea mea n-aduse nici un adaos lumii,
Iar moartea n-o să-i schimbe rotundul și splendoarea.
Și nimeni nu-i să-mi spună ascunsul tâlc al spumii:
Ce sens avu venirea? Și-acum, ce sens plecarea?

The Enisala Fortress

(c) Cezar Danilevici.
Some photos of the Enisala Fortress in Sarichioi area, Tulcea County, Dobruja, Romania. The fortress is on a hill between the Babadag Lake and the Razim Lake, surrounded by the remains of some old mountains (older than the Carpathians), now only hills that plunge into the water of the Black Sea. A mysterious place, full of ancient history and constantly blown by wind. It is currently the Easternmost geographical point I have ever visited during my life.